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Poor Will's Almanack: January 30 - February 5, 2024

via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack in the days of late winter, in the time of the camel cricket moon and the sun in Aquarius.

As January comes to an end, the year enters full early spring, and I check the buds on trees and shrubs to be sure I have my seasons right.

I feel the hard, scarlet buds on the wild roses. I find the pale, supple buds of the honeysuckle, the blood-red buds on the blackberry canes.

I feel the fleshy, orange buds of the buckeyes, the tight, round, silver buds of the dogwoods. I touch the woody buds of the crab apples, the phallic protrusions of the ginkgoes, the soft green buds of the lilac, the sharp and thorn-like buds of the American beech, the deep purple bud cluster of the red maples.

I stroke the gray velvety buds of the white magnolia, the spongy opening pussy willow buds, the yellow-brown, fat sweet gum buds the buds of the tree-of-heaven, hiding in the hollows of last year’s branches, the pink quince buds, their color just starting to show

And all these buds and shoots and clusters convince me that they really are promises, prophesies, infallible predictions and forecasts of spring,

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on nature and the seasons. In the meantime, just go outside and touch the promises and they will come true.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.